These simple questions come naturally to mind in light of the London atrocities, except to Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Perle, Bush and Blair, indeed the whole infestation of neo-con disciples of Leo Strauss who remain oblivious to such queries and, indeed, cannot afford to confront them. History is replete with the devastation wrought by those who did not understand the perceptions of the adversary and failed to see through their opponent’s eyes. This nest of nihilists conjured up an understanding of the route to world dominance based on theories created in the void of Strauss’ classroom, theories lacking the blood, guts, and resolve of human behavior, massaged that ream of still-birthed beliefs in closed meetings they fostered among their apostles, and then propagated this “still born” concept of the American Century through well-funded and self-worshiping think tanks that spread their fodder to a benumbed Yale graduate and the public. Predictably their responses to the bombings regurgitate their prior pablum. Unfortunately, those who manufacture the slaughter rarely suffer the loss of eye or limb or mind or death, the horrific consequences of their acts, they only slink away to their retirement and have ghost writers pen their bloated memoirs of lies. Such will likely be the fate of this crew of chicken-hawks that caused the innocent to suffer once again.
Neither Blair nor Bush ride the rails of reality in everyday life; they avoid contact with normalcy as they are whisked from rendezvous to rendezvous by military helicopter and armed escorts; they have not experienced the inconvenience of freedoms removed and hence find no irony in mouthing their platitudes that “They will not succeed in taking away our freedoms.” They do not comprehend that the very foundation of their act of war, their neo-con pillars of irrationality, eradicates freedom as a given replacing it with a right given to those in power to determine for all how they will live. For Bush to tell the world that he will take his war to the “terrorists” by pre-emptive act, to knowingly gain his end by deception, erases any semblance of freedom a citizen of the United States had to determine for self what action he or she would and should pursue. That same blind belief in his right to determine what course this nation would take determined the options available to those he would subdue. Freedom does not exist in states that dictate truth, determine for all what is “good” and what is “evil,” and force conformity of behavior through fear. Yet that in essence is the modus operandi of this administration. The people reap the consequences of Bush’s ideology and Blair’s blind adherence to neo-con nonsense.
Two and a half years ago, two weeks after Osama sent citizens of the United States a letter explaining why America had been attacked, I wrote an open letter to Osama, published in these pages, reacting to the three dominant reasons he offered for the wanton slaughter of three thousand innocent men, women and children. Neither Blair nor Bush nor any of the coital locked ideologues in this administration responded to the London bombings by referencing these three reasons, their minds locked into their repetitive tripe about freedom being the terrorists’ target. But Osama made it clear that the 50 years of humiliation and devastation wrought by the Israelis on the Palestinians and the theft of their land, made explicitly possible by America’s unholy alliance with Sharon’s savage government, the imposition of the United States in the holy lands of Islam and its control of puppets that dance to American corporate tunes, most specifically in the land of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the continued forced corporate globalization of capitalistic consumerism and their conquest of natural resources in Arab lands, and the evangelically expressed desire to crusade against Islam to justify these transgressions as fulfillment of God’s word required a response if the peoples of the mid-east were not to succumb to western power and greed.
The London atrocity brought home to Blair what the words of George Galloway, Robert Fisk and the people of Britain did not, illegal invasion and occupation of another country will not be tolerated by its citizens and distance will provide no security for the preemptive aggressor. These attacks, like those in Madrid and those that killed citizens of 17 other countries that have supported Bush’s invasion, mirror Bush’s actions by preemptively striking a government that coddles to neo-con ideology. Worse than that, they duplicate the atrocities that Bush used and continues to use against the innocent civilians of Iraq, the “shock and awe” of unbelievable and wanton devastation that tears away arms and legs, sears and shatters the skin, irrevocably creates psychological trauma that lasts forever, and this for those that survive, while proclaiming justification in the name of freedom and liberty guaranteed by his God, he being but the messenger to ensure fulfillment of His prophecy. Ironically, belief in one’s own superiority presumes capitulation of the enemy not acceptance and imitation of the superior one’s insanity.
“Why has it come to this?” Because Bush, with Blair as his compliant sidekick, pseudo-leaders of the neo-con vipers, have given license to lies and deceit to control their citizens and impose their will, promulgated unilateral attacks against perceived enemies regardless of identifiable provocation, justified extrajudicial execution nullifying thereby the rule of law, incarcerated hundreds upon hundreds of men without charge, without counsel, without trial in a no man’s land expressly designed to avoid international interference, ordered the slaughter of civilians to force capitulation to their will, accepted, nay dictated the use of torture – of inhumane humiliation, infliction of excruciating pain, and psychological devastation – to impose their will, and, to attain these insidious ends, they have instituted draconian laws that control free speech by controlling the main stream press and television channels making it impossible for the people to discriminate between fact and fiction. All of these actions were taken, apparently, without consideration to the consequences that might result when their desires ran counter to the desires of those they wished to control. Arrogance feeds itself on ignorance, blinded by its own perceived brilliance and, hence, unable to understand how its victims perceive their acts and how they will respond.
Having ignored the reasons proffered for retaliation, having made irrelevant the international community as represented in the UN, having created justification of unilateral action, having disposed of international law as meaningless in their new world, the Bush administration has unleashed on the world a frightening specter of insanity equal to its own, uncontrollable by any power, and doomed all to suffer the destructive heat of its own design, a future not unlike that inflicted on the citizens of Falujah and Iraq through the use of napalm and depleted uranium, a slow, debilitating and painful path to everlasting ruin. Until Bush accepts the legitimate rights of the Palestinians as determined by international law stated eloquently by the International Court of Justice in its decisions regarding the Israeli apartheid wall, until Bush and his corporate hordes dissemble their control of the economies that have been imposed on mid-eastern, Asian and African countries, until the Christian, Islamic and Jewish leaders who accept all God’s creatures confront the fanatics who would impose their beliefs on all, the catastrophic consequences of neo-con ideology will wreck havoc on the earth. That is what it is all about.
William Cook is a professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California. His new book, Psalms for the 21st Century, was published by Mellen Press. He can be reached at: cookb@ULV.EDU